Wed. Feb 8th, 2023

The Central Bank of Nigeria officially deployed the National Domestic Card on Monday, January 16, 2023, which is meant to serve as both a credit card and debit card, among other functions. The apex bank, in partnership with Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBBS), would launch the card this January.

The National Domestic Card is expected to compete with other industry players like Mastercard, Discovery and Visa cards.
Local banks and other financial institutions will offer payment solutions like credit, debit, virtual, loyalty, tokenised cards, non-interest and identity card. CBN said it introduced the card due to its belief that Nigeria is mature and has achieved substantial digital transformation in its payments system in the last 10 years. The project has been driven by rapid digital and tech innovation, increasing mobile access and the policies of the CBN which have boosted unrivalled adoption of digital financial services in the country, the bank stated.
Benefits and features of National Domestic Card: Reduction of cost and foreign exchange use

Protection of data sovereignty Making cards and payments more accessible and affordable for Nigerians.

According to reports, CBN said that the National Domestic Card would ensure improved sovereignty and security of data of Nigerians and its operations since Mastercard and other major industry players control such cards from overseas.
Per the CBN statement, the card will improve and boost financial inclusion in the country. It will also serve as a platform to leverage the seamless dissemination of government-to-person payments and other social impact initiatives thereby enhancing financial inclusion and supporting the growth of a robust digital economy. It will be provided via Nigeria’s central switch system, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS) in partnership with the Bankers Committee and other stakeholders in the financial ecosystem.

Other countries with National Domestic Card Monday’s deployment enlisted

Nigeria among top countries such as Brazil, India, Turkey, China and Singapore with similar schemes.
Those countries have reportedly harnessed the benefits of the National Domestic Card schemes in their respective countries to drive their payments and financial ecosystems. The countries have harnessed the transformative benefits of the schemes to drive their payments and financial systems, particularly for the underbanked.
The CBN said: “The domestic card scheme will be an important game changer for financial inclusion in Nigeria. “The plan is to deliver Africa’s first central bank-driven, domestic card scheme that combines a fully domestic infrastructure with international interoperability. “Our plans will enable us to pivot into the largest card scheme in Africa, and amongst the biggest globally.” Card may be used for international payment It is not clear if the card would be used for international transactions since most banks in Nigeria have stopped the use of naira cards for such purposes. NIBBS Managing Director, Premier Oiwoh stated at the Bankers Committee meeting that the card is being deployed to help improve the payments ecosystem in the country.
He said: “This card will be configured to address the unique ecosystem issues that we have to help improve payment system issues that we have across the nation.” “We also expect the card to provide affordable pricing, adding that the charges will certainly be lower because it is expected to be charged in Naira as against foreign currency. “NIBSS is a sharing infrastructure and the card central management system will be shared and each integrating entity will integrate via the APR platform we expect that other value addition will be mined and created around this scheme.”

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